Whether you are interested in scaling your managed services business, or just entering into the managed services space, there are key resources needed to carry out and deliver a strong managed services solution to your customers and build a profitable business.
Managed services success starts from the top down. The owner must be committed to adopting the managed services business model and becoming the change agent within the organization. The owner will construct and carry out a managed services vision the entire organization can understand and operate. A C-level champion must assist with the day-to-day functions and planning to get managed services off the ground, from process adherence to assistance closing deals. The more the C-level is involved and motivated, the more the company will understand the importance of managed services to the success of the business.
You need a technical engineer who can help the SME with pre-sales solutioning and complete the project work associated with Managed IT. This requires good working knowledge of computers, servers, and network infrastructure (e.g. switches, routers, firewalls). Their active role in the managed services sales and support process will require the ability to build rapport with customers and their team. Your technical engineer should have 6+ years’ experience implementing and administering servers and networks.
You need a technician who can assist with tool implementation, onboarding, and perform the feet-on-the-street support associated with managed services. For a good technician, you should look for 2+ years’ experience and working knowledge of computers, servers, and network infrastructure (e.g. switches, routers, firewalls). The technician’s active role in the managed services sales and support process will require the ability to build rapport with customers and their team. CompTIA A+ and Network+ certifications are also recommended.
The managed services sales cycle is different than most, and behaviors needed for a SME are different than other sales positions. Because of the complexity of IT, and the activity level and discipline it takes to find and close deals in this space, the SME should be 100% dedicated to managed services and fit an identified success profile to help advance IT conversations and close more deals. SMEs need to have the business acumen to understand how technology supports and drives business, and be able to communicate the value of the long-term technology roadmaps today’s companies need. They are more consultative in nature, and are patient with progressing a prospect through the in-depth managed services sales cycle. Having a dedicated SME to managed services is critical to the success of your managed services business.
Quarterly business reviews are a necessary investment to keep your managed services customers and continue to expand their technical solution. Once you have grown your managed services business to about 42 subscribers or $1.5 million in revenue, we recommend hiring a dedicated vCIO. Until this point the SME is recommended to take on the vCIO responsibilities. Their active role in managed services sales and support will require the ability to build rapport with customers and their team. The vCIO should have the ability to identify areas of opportunity to add value to the customer’s environment, show the value of doing so, and build a technology roadmap for the managed services customer.
Launching, growing and maintaining a successful managed services operation relies on the right people in the right roles. Contact PathShare® HR Services for assistance in further defining your managed services roles, compensation plans and ways to assess potential candidates for fit in the role.
Hannah Erb, Director of Sales, is responsible for building the strategic vision for sales and marketing while providing business planning, education, training, and sales assistance to partners. She is also responsible for originating new partnerships for Collabrance. She was recognized as one of 2019's Women of the Channel by CRN, a brand of The Channel Company. Hannah started at Collabrance in 2013 as a Strategic Business Advisor. In 2014, Hannah was nominated by her peers and won Rookie of the Year, and in 2015 became a member of the 100% Sales Achievement Club at GreatAmerica. Hannah earned her business degree in Marketing and Management Information Systems from the University of Iowa.